I have known Henry Hodge since I could even remember. I have been his care taker for about 6 or 7 years now, and have called him Uncle since forever. He was my father’s best friend and they had known each other for over 60 years. Henry Hodge was born November 22, 1929 and will be 82 years old this year. Henry has a good memory, but for some reason he is blocked when it comes to his family in St. Louis, Missouri.
The story I was told from my mother, is that he was left on the porch by his mother, and he was adopted by the Hodges. Henry confirmed this to me, but whenever I ask him about the Hodges that raised him, he doesn’t want to talk about it, and everything is jumbled, and he just shuts down. If I try to push him to talk about his life in St. Louis, he gets irritated if I bring up family.
About a year ago, I found Henry’s scrapbook in the garage, and brought it into the house so he could identify the people for me. Henry wrote on the back “Me and my brother.” I asked him this morning was this his biological brother or his brother the Hodges had. Henry stated that he had two older brothers that died before he was born and that he did not remember if the older boy in the photo was his biological brother but that he was his brother.
|Poss. Henry’s Biological Brother & Henry Hodge
(l to r)
I have seen the 1930 Census and Henry Hodge is listed as Norris Henry. It is obvious that this is him, but he stated that he did not know why the name on the census had Norris. “I was thinking that Norris may be his biological families surname. (of course I need to do further investigation)”
I asked Henry what his brother’s name was and he could not remember at first and then he said I think John. So looking at the 1930 Census below, I know that this could not be a photo of John Wilson as the Census states that John Wilson is the Hodge’s grandson and that the older John Wilson is their Son-in-law.
I believe that there is more to the story that I am being told and due to difficult feelings surrounding Henry’s birth and family life, I am going to have to slowly help him to remember. Over the next few months, I will be looking at the Census reports of any Norris or even Henry families in the area. I will also investigate the Wilson’s on other Census Reports and see what I can discover.
Update: Go to this Blog The Picture is Becoming Clearer.